It must seem amazing to us mere mortals that politicians set themselves up as the guardians of moral virtue.
Then we see a whole catalogue of misbehaviour which would land anyone else in the clink.
Former MP Denis MacShane is to be charged with false accounting over parliamentary expenses claims, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
The MacShane saga has been running for so long, I am amazing that the CPS has come back to it.
Malcolm McHaffie, deputy head of the CPS special crime division said:
"Having thoroughly reviewed the evidence gathered by the police, I have decided there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to bring a criminal charge. This charge relates to fraudulent claims with a total value of £12,900."
Mr McHaffie added:
"The charge is of false accounting, contrary to the Theft Act 1968. It is alleged that Denis MacShane claimed expenses for research and translation services carried out by a company that did not carry out that work. Denis MacShane now stands charged with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice his trial."
Denis Macshane isn’t just any old cannon fodder from the Westminster Village, previously he worked for the BBC from 1969 to 1977, had been in the House of Commons, as Labour MP for Rotherham, since 1994.
His career high must be as Prime Minister Tony Blair's minister for Europe from 2002 to 2005.
I would say that is a high flyer, however, MacShane resigned as an MP last November after a parliamentary committee said he had wrongfully claimed at least £7,500 in expenses.
On the plus side of his case, he repaid the money, which no doubt will be stated at his trial at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on 30 July.
As well as the repayment of monies, MacShane says he made no personal gain from the expenses claims; however, the CPS will be keen to paint a different scenario for the jury.
In a statement MacShane said:
"I am disappointed at the CPS decision but as the matter is now in the hands of the court I will be making no further statement."
They say that all political careers end in failure, well that maybe in part true, however, you could add to it, some end in total disgrace which a jail term awaits.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University